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Specially Adapted Housing Grant

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News May 2013

Two types of grants help severely disabled veterans in adapting housing to their special needs.

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Effective Oct. 1, 2012, Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant amounts from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) increased.

The maximum grant amounts for veterans and servicemembers eligible for housing assistance under Title 38 USC, Section 2101(a) and 2101(b) is:

 

A.         $64,960 for individuals eligible under Section 2101(a) housing assistance

B.         $12,992 for individuals eligible under Section 2101(b) housing assistance

C.         $28,518 Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) funds available under Section 2101(a)(b)(1)

D.         $5,092 TRA grant funds available under Section 2101(a)(b)(2)

 

Obtaining a Grant

Two types of grants are available to help severely disabled veterans in adapting housing to their special needs.

Specially Adapted Housing Grant

The maximum amount of this grant is now $64,960. It’s available to veterans or servicemembers who are entitled to compensation for permanent and total disability due to one of the following:

 

(1)         The loss or loss of use of both lower extremities such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair

(2)         Blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity

(3)         Loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with (a) residuals of organic disease or injury, or (b) the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity (Items (a) and (b) must also affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair.)

(4)         The loss or loss of use of both upper extremities, so as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbows

(5)         The permanent and total disability is due to a severe burn injury (as so determined).

 

The current and most recent VA Rating Decision issued by the Veterans Service Center (VSC) of jurisdiction establishes a veteran’s or servicemember’s basic eligibility for an SAH grant. The VA Rating Decision is subject to review and revision.

There are a few statutory requirements for eligibility:

-  It must be medically feasible for the veteran or servicemember to reside in the home.

-  The house must be adapted to be suitable to the veteran’s or servicemember’s needs for living purposes.

-  It must be financially feasible for the veteran or servicemember to acquire the house, with the assistance provided by the grant.

 

A TRA may be available to veterans and servicemembers who are/will be temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member.

This assistance, up to $28,518, may be used to adapt the family member’s home to meet the veteran’s or servicemember’s special need at that time.

Special Home Adaptations Grant

The maximum amount of this grant is now $12,992. It’s available to veterans or servicemembers entitled to compensation for permanent and total service-connected disability due to one of the two following:

(1)         Blindness in both eyes with 5/200 visual acuity or less

(2)         The anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands

The current or most recent VA Rating Decision issued by the VSC of jurisdiction establishes the veteran’s or servicemember’s basic eligibility for an SAH grant. The VA Rating Decision is subject to review and revision.

The veteran or servicemember has the option to use the grant under any one of the following plans:

(1) Adapt a house, which he/she plans to purchase and in which he/she intends to reside

(2) Adapt a house, which a member of the veteran’s or servicemember’s family plans to purchase and in which the veteran or servicemember intends to reside

(3) Adapt a house, which he/she already owns and in which he/she intends to reside

(4) Adapt a house, which is already owned by a member of the veteran’s or servicemember’s family in which the veteran or servicemember intends to reside

(5) Purchase a house, which has already been adapted with special features VA has determined are reasonably necessary because of the veteran’s or servicemember’s disability and in which he/she intends to reside

 

A TRA may be available to veterans and servicemembers who are/will be temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member. This assistance, up to $5,092, may be used to adapt the family member’s home to meet the veteran’s or servicemember’s special needs at that time.

Veterans who are approved for an SAH grant are advised of their eligibility for Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI).

The veteran will be assisted by one of VA’s Specially Adapted Housing agents in the completion of VA Form 29-8636, Application for Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance. Veterans must be approved for an SAH grant before applying for VMLI.

Take note that on Aug. 6, 2012, President Obama signed Public Law 112-154, which authorizes an important temporary change in the eligibility criteria for the SAH grant. 

One of the criteria listed is that a veteran must have loss or loss of use of both lower extremities. Section 202 (C) of P.L. 112-154 changes that criterion, however, to loss or loss of use of one or more lower extremities that so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude ambulating without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair. 

This change is in effect only from Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2013, and disability must have been incurred on or after Sept. 11, 2011. 

For more information visit pva.org or contact a local PVA National Service Office.

 

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Specially Adapted Housing Grant

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